Craigentinny clinch record-extending eighth EBL crown

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Craigentinny have clinched the Division 1 title in the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League for a record-extending eighth time.

The destination of the 2016 crown had gone right down to the wire with Craigentinny going into match 14 defending a slender one-and-a-half point lead over Maitland.

Parkside arrived at Craigentinny intent on spoiling the party but last season’s champions were sent home nursing a 7-2 defeat that left Maitland a lot to do at home to Queensberry.

Skips Andrew Jeffrey, Ian Paterson and Andy Caldwell were the hero figures for Craigentinny while a bonus point claimed by Daniel Gormley meant his defeat didn’t do the home team any harm.

Maitland’s hope of claiming the big win required against Queensberry was scuppered by late swings against them on two rinks and they eventually clinched a narrow 5-4 success.

Meanwhile, at Craigentinny, Jeffrey was producing a 3, 1 finish to skip Craig McCall, Scott Duncan and Gordon Bold to a 19-12 win over Parkside’s Kevin Boyd.

The win supported the 22-10 contribution from Caldwell at the expense of Neil Watson then Paterson held on from 15-7 to beat Paul Veitch 17-15. Gormley lost 14-11 to Robert Donaldson.

There was double disappointment at Maitland as opponents Queensberry – last year’s runners-up – plunged through the relegation trapdoor as they finished a point adrift of 
Northern, who were 7-2 losers at Tanfield.

Pilrig – inaugural EBL champions of 1998 – made a quick return to Division 2, finishing their campaign with a 7-2 defeat at home to mid-table Hillside.

Division 1: Final Positions: Craigentinny 85; Maitland 81½; Parkside 69½; Hillside 67; Tanfield 66; Northern 55½; Queensberry 54½; Pilrig 25.